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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 115

Match 115:

Alice In Chains "Hollow" (2013)
Nirvana "Return Of The Rat" (1992)
Pearl Jam "The End" (2009)
Soundgarden "Kristi" (1995)

"Hollow" is one of the best songs Alice In Chains has done with William DuVall.  I'm not sure it should have started an album, but it's definitely solid.  It's got the slow grind in the verses and the harmonious swells in the chorus, plus a simple, effective solo from Jerry Cantrell.  Definitely a bait and switch given the lackluster album that follows.

"Return Of The Rat" was recorded for a tribute album to the punk band The Wipers right when the concept of tribute albums was becoming a thing.  It's a peppy little number with just enough harmony keeping it together to make it a coherent song instead of what I've come to expect from these "With The Lights Out" tracks.  It sounds like a more biting version of what G.B.H. were doing around the same time.

"The End", fittingly enough, brings "Backspacer" to a close.  It's a bit of a lullaby, lamenting plans they never got to and friends lost touch with.  Then I realized it's a dead man trying to convince the listener that his life could have been better, maybe was better, then it just stops dead, way more abrupt than "Black Gives Way To Blue", which trails off, this just

"Kristi" was an unreleased track from 1995.  If you were going to put together a B-Side or Bonus Track from "Superunknown", this would be the prototype.  It would have fit right in with the material on that album, but at the same time wouldn't have slotted into any track number properly.  Perfect for a B-Side.  The lyrics are hella stalkerish, which is not a vibe I pegged Soundgarden for, so that's also a bit of a dissonance from "Superunknown".

"Hollow": 4
"Return Of The Rat": 3
"Kristi": 2
"The End": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 313
Alice In Chains: 298
Pearl Jam: 287
Nirvana: 251

Tomorrow, Pearl Jam gets hit with some electricity as they begin the last new album (and newest material) in this process, "Lightning Bolt".

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